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Emmerdale Mill (known locally as Mill Cottage or The Mill; previously the Millhouse) is a house is Emmerdale, located near the end of Main Street. The house has been converted into two flats, with Aaron Dingle, Liv Flaherty and Robert Sugden taking up residency in the first flat, whilst the second flat is currently empty.

Biography

Backstory: Millhouse

Millhouse1972

Jack Sugden looks up at the old Millhouse in 1972

Upon his return to Beckindale in 1972, Jack Sugden showed an interest in the abandoned Millhouse. His mother, Annie told him that the property was theirs but it would cost too much money to put right and that it can't be demolished as there is a preservation order on it. Annie claims that during her, his father and his grandfather's lifespan no-one has ever lived in the building.

In 1973, Jack lived there for a few months and even had Trash, David Reece and Penny Golightly as guests. Trash fatally fell from a window in February 1973. David and Gwen left in mid-1973, then Penny a few days later, leaving Jack living alone at the mill again. After Jack himself left Beckindale later on in 1973 the Mill remained empty after this. Even when Jack moved back to Beckindale for good in 1980, he never lived in the Mill. From 1973 to 1986 the mill remained derelict and abandoned.

Beckindale school teacher James Bonfils took schoolchildren on a trip to the old mill and rumours spread that he had an interest it. However, nothing ever cae of this as the mill was demolished soon afterwards in March 1975, being deemed unsafe after cracks had appeared in the walls of the building. 

1986-2016: Renovation

The Mill in 1986

The abandoned Mill in 1986

By October 1986, the demolition of the Mill had been forgotten about and seeming had been rebuilt when builder Phil Pearce showed an interest in the derelict mill and soon got it converted into a house. This bought back memories for Jack. Phil moved into the Mill, along with his girlfriend Sandie Merrick, who bought half the place and outbidding Joe Sugden at auction. In 1988 Phil dabbled in crime and him and Sandie split up. Sandie bought the Mill and then moved Kate Hughes and her teenage children Mark and Rachel as lodgers.

In 1989, Kate left the Mill to move in with Joe Sugden after which Sandie left from Scotland. Dolly Skilbeck and her son Sam then moved into the Mill after her marriage broke down but they left the following year after Dolly found work as a housekeeper at Home Farm

In November 1991, Frank Tate bought the Mill as a wedding present for Chris and Kathy Tate. Chris' friend Alex lived with them for a while and in 1993, Annie Sugden moved in after being forced out of Emmerdale Farm. Seth Armstrong and Nick Bates also moved in for a while in 1994 after their homes at Demdyke Row were destroyed in the plane crash.

In 1995, Kathy moved out after hers and Chris' marriage broke down. Chris' remarried Rachel Hughes with whom he had a son, Joseph the same year. However, when Rachel left Chris in 1996, Chris moved back to Home Farm. In 1998, Rachel's boyfriend Graham Clark moved in with them at the Mill. However, after Rachel realised Graham had murdered his wife he pushed Rachel off a cliff where she fell several metres to her death. 

In 2001, the cottage was bought by Ray Mullan who lived there until his death in December 2002. The next owner of the house was Rodney Blackstock. During his time owning the Mill his children Nicola and Paul would live there at various points as well as Nicola's finance Simon Meredith and Simon's mother Lesley as well as Rodney's girlfriend Kelly Windsor.

In October 2006, the Mill was bought by Grayson Sinclair and Perdita Hyde-Sinclair. Grayson's mother Rosemary also lives with them for a while but he throws her out in September 2007 after he discovers she tried to poison his wife Perdy. Perdy left for London for a while and when she came back her heart was no longer in her marriage and she started an affair with Matthew King. Despite this, Grayson convinced her to try for a baby again using their friend Katie Sugden as a surrogate. The truth eventually came out and Pardy moved in with Matthew at Home Farm. Grayson then moved Katie into the Mill and they started a relationship. The Sinclairs left the village after their baby was born in July 2008 and Perdy got custody of him. 

The next family to move into the cottage were the Kings after their company went bankrupt and they were forced to sell their current home at Home Farm in December 2008. Various members of the King family lived in the Mill for many years. 

2015-2018: Explosion and transition to Flats

Mill cottage explosion

Mill Cottage explodes

In September 2015, Rakesh Kotecha took ownership of the Mill after swapping houses with Jimmy King and his family. He soon planned to convert the Mill into two flats, one to live in with his wife Priya and step-daughter Amba and the second to rent out. However, in June 2016 Rakesh ran out of money and set fire to the house, hoping to claim the insurance; unaware former resident Nicola King was inside. The Mill exploded and Dan Spencer and Ronnie Hale arrived at the scene and rescued Nicola. Ronnie went back in, believing Rakesh and Priya were inside and he was knocked unconscious. Rakesh and Carly Hope rescued Ronnie. The insurance adjuster Neville Crosby smelt a rat so the insurance company refused to pay out.

Mill Cottage was repossessed in October 2016 and sold to Aaron Dingle at auction two months later and he hired Ronnie to continue the building work. The first flat was completed in May 2017 and the second flat the following March.

Owners

The Miffield Estate owned by George Verney held the ownership of Emmerdale Farm land (of which The Mill was part of). The Miffield Estate leased Emmerdale Farm with The Mill out to Jacob Sugden until his death in 1972, where it was then inherited by Jack Sugden.

Henry Wilks bought the freehold from the Miffield Estate in early 1973.

By late 1986, the property had become derelict. It went up for auction, and was purchased by NY Estates.

Aaron Dingle bought the derelict property at auction in December 2016 with his half-sister Olivia Flaherty's money.

Residents

Jack moved into the Mill shortly after arriving back in Beckindale. Prior to this, the Mill had been unoccupied for years. While he initially lived at Emmerdale Farm immediately on his return, he decided to inhabit the Mill as a place to begin work on his next novel, taking up lodging primarily in an upstairs room he converted into a bedroom. In late 1973, Jack left Beckindale, and the Mill became unoccupied again.

Trash was a homeless person who routinely returned to the village, at least once a year. Whilst Jack was on a trip to London, he took up lodgings in the Mill and Jack arrived back to find him dossing down in one of the downstairs rooms. Jack agreed to let Trash stay on at the Mill in return for running errands. Trash's residence was short-lived however, when he found a necklace belonging to local missing girl Sharon Crossthwaite and became the prime suspect in her disappearance. Fearful of being locked up after spending time on a psychiatric ward, an innocent Trash fell to his death from Jack's bedroom window when trying to flee from the Mill.

Penny Golightly arrived in the village looking for her father after hearing he was staying in the village. Her father was Trash who had just recently been buried in the cemetery. Jack invited Penny to stay at the Mill for a time while she became familiar with the village in which her father spent the final weeks of his life before his tragic death. Penny even invited 2 friends, Gwen Russell and David Reece to stay at the mill for a few weeks, before returning to Wales. Penny began a relationship with Joe Sugden but when disagreements arose between the two of them, Penny packed her things and left the village.

Background information

  • Before filming moved to the purpose-built set in 1998, Hartington Mill was used as the filming location for the old Mill in the 1970s
  • Mill Cottage (also known as The Mill) is one of the only locations in the programme to have a specifically pinpointed location on each of the village sets used in the series. Originally, appearing in 1972, The Mill was located on Emmerdale Farm land, just over the river and North East to the farm itself. Since the move to the Harewood village however, the Mill is now located south of the village at the very bottom of Main Street.
  • In April 1975 and May 1975, it was said that the mill had to be demolished due to subsidence, and the demolition works took place in the latter month. In March 1976, Jack Sugden was saddened to hear of the demolition of the mill. However, 10 years later in 1986, the demolition was retconned as part of a storyline where the Mill was to be renovated by builder Phil Pearce, and thus it was said to have been unoccupied for the past 13 years.

See also

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